The Norse continued its winning streak to four Jan. 13, against the University of Missouri-St. Louis, winning 68-53 at Regents Hall.
The win by Northern Kentucky University (11-4 overall, 4-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference) put them in a four-way tie in the GLVC East Division, and was helped by outstanding play by senior guard Steven Wright.
Wright led the way with 20 points, four rebounds and three steals as he showed his acrobatic skills with two dunks, one of which was waived off due to a traveling call.
NKU Head Coach Dave Bezold was pleased with Wright’s dunking ability, but was more pleased with Wright’s consistent play.
“Steve was struggling early, but then he made big plays for us and kept us up there. He kept scoring so we didn’t go on any extended droughts,” said Bezold of Wright, according to NKU Athletics. “He’s one of those special players who wants to win so badly. I knew he would make our fans happy because he’s such a great athlete and tremendous leaper. But Steven Wright is a big-time winner who does what it takes for us to be successful.”
Along with the dunks, Wright also added a spectacular block of Brett Ledbetter’s (GLVC leading scorer) lay-up attempt, that saw the NKU guard’s hand get above the rim.
NKU senior guard/forward Kevin Schappell and Wright combined to score 36 of the 68 points by the Norse. Schappell had 10 consecutive points and increased the lead to 64-47 in the second half. He also extended his streak of consecutive free throws to 16.
“It was big for us to win two conference games at home and three in a row this week,” Schappell said. “We go on the road and have a big weekend coming up at Kentucky Wesleyan and Southern Indiana. With a Saint Joseph’s loss we’ll be in first place (in the GLVC East Division), so this was a huge win today.”
Rockhurst University defeated Saint Joseph Ind. University on Jan. 13, to give NKU a four-way tie in the East Division.
The Norse dominated the boards with a 30-17 advantage in the game. Sophomore guard Billy Finnell led the team with seven rebounds.
With the win, NKU improved to 15-5 all-time against the Rivermen (5-9, 1-6 GLVC). David Ward led UMSL with 12 points in the game.
Next for the Norse are two key road games against Kentucky Wesleyan University Jan. 18 and the University of Southern Indiana, Jan. 20.